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Study finds a 19 percent increase in specialty-drug spending in 2012
Spending on high-cost specialty drugs used to treat complex diseases such as cancer jumped by more than 19 percent in 2012 among members of pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Prime Therapeutics LLC. In contrast, Prime experienced a 0.9 percent drop in traditional (all nonspecialty) drug spending last year.
A new report by the PBM,
Specialty: Today & Tomorrow, highlights specialty-drug costs over the past year and recommends strategies to manage their steady rise.
“With the rising use of specialty drugs, the days of 1 to 2 percent increases in annual drug spending are nearing an end,” said Peter Wickersham, Prime’s senior vice president of cost of care. “We are clearly entering a time of higher costs, and plan sponsors that act now will be in the best position to assure quality care for their members while managing these high costs.”
Specialty drugs now account for 30 percent of total drug costs; Prime predicts they will reach 50 percent of total drug spending by 2018.
The following cost-controlling steps are outlined in the report:
Short videos about each of these steps are on Prime’s YouTube channel.
“Plan sponsors that are best managing specialty costs have the above actions in common,” said Duane Barnes, Prime’s senior vice president of consumer delivery. “By deploying these steps and taking a comprehensive approach to understanding specialty costs, plans can help their members access these important medicines and use them safely and effectively.”
is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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